At some point during your cloth diapering experience, you might want to sell some. Perhaps a certain brand didn’t work out as expected, or maybe your child has completely potty trained and the possibility of another baby on the horizon is slim to none. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to get the best price possible. I’ve had lots of experience with buying and selling over the past five years and wanted to share a few tips with you.
Buy and sell gender neutral. It’s much easier to sell a green diaper cover than it is to sell a pink one. This is just a statistical inevitability. Several factors contribute to this. First of all, lots of mothers are buying for a baby whose gender is unknown. Still others may prefer gender neutral because they are using cloth on 2 or more children of different sexes. A third reason is simply that colors like blue and green are most often preferred (and purchased) over pink and purple, regardless of gender.
Overly “girly” or “boyish” colors tend to sit a little longer before selling and the longer a listing sits with no action, the more likely you’ll be getting lowball offers at some point. If you anticipate selling some or all of the diapers in your stash at some point, consider making the bulk of your collection gender-neutral.
Act quickly. Respond promptly to emails, comments and private messages and you’re more likely to score a sale with little to no bargaining. The longer a buyer waits on you, the more time she has to re-think the price or purchase elsewhere. Remember, you’re not the only one out there selling a Flip cover. Jump on someone’s interest right away and be helpful and friendly. Offer to send additional pictures. Ask if you can make them a deal on multiple items. Statements like “I’m making a trip to the post office this afternoon” can help a buyer who is dragging her feet make a quicker decision.
Work on the stains. Many of us just want to make a quick sale. So you often see listings that read like this: “Diaper is excellent condition, with the exception of a few newborn stains I haven’t tried to treat yet.” While stains don’t bother me, personally, they can kill the deal for many. It pays to get the diaper looking its best before putting it on the market. Wash the diaper, but skip the dryer. Instead, hang the wet diaper in the sun for about 2 hours or so. This method works fantastically for most any type of regular poo stain; if it’s a food stain you’re dealing with (i.e. something your baby ate that made it’s way into the diaper) something more drastic will be needed. Try bleach (properly diluted and timed) or lemon juice (treat and then wash).
If you don’t have a clothesline, hang your diaper inside and let the sunlight stream through the window. This is effective, but to a lesser degree than direct sun.
Give a freebie. Everybody likes to get something for nothing, so take a tip from the cloth diaper stores and offer a free item to potential purchasers. Ideally, it would be something small which will add hardly any extra weight to the package. Ideas: coupons, a few diaper liners or cloth wipes, product samples, lip balm or jewelry you’re not wearing anymore. If you have a couple of freebies to give away, list them in the description and have your buyer choose one.
Giving something away creates a good vibe. Buyers are more likely to pay what you’re asking rather than haggle excessively.
Sell to fans. You’ll likely get more money for a Funky Fluff diaper in the official Funky Fluff B/S/T (Buy/Sell/Trade) group than you will at Diaper Swappers. These are mamas that know, love and highly value the brand. That saves you the hassle of having to market the diaper itself; just share a photo and give the price and condition. This tip is especially helpful if you are selling a WAHM diaper; without as much name recognition, homemade used diapers can be tough to sell to the general public. Some WAHM’s have B/S/T groups for their fans; if this isn’t an option, you might ask them to post the sale on their Facebook wall on your behalf so that fans will see it.
Avoid photo fails. Unless you have a light box, take a picture of the diaper in natural light. You want the color and condition to be represented as accurately as possible. Some buyers may erroneously assume the diaper is faded, stained or blemished in some way due to things like glare, shadows, poor lighting or even the flash from your camera. If, for some reason, the picture gives the wrong impression and it’s truly the best you can do, make sure you point out this in your listing.
List (cross-post) on multiple sites. This enables you to entertain different offers and get the highest price. Looking for reputable sites to list your used diapers? There are lots of cloth diaper swap sites on Facebook, and I highly recommend Cloth Diaper Trader and the Diaper Swappers “For Sale or Trade” forum. Ebay is also a popular option and will give your listing more Google juice.
Here are some great suggestions from Cloth Diaper Wrecker about facilitating the selling process.
If you know of ways to get a higher price for diapers, please share them here!